Los Angeles, October 13, 2021 – Studio71, a Red Arrow Studios company, announced today that it has closed a development deal with Los Angeles Clippers center Serge Ibaka’s production company, Ouenzé Entertainment, to create a kids’ animated series inspired by his life experiences. Overcoming (working title) showcases some of the greatest athletes in the world and the biggest challenges of their lives, outside of sports. The series focuses on a culturally diverse group of star athletes from a multitude of sports with each episode centering on a different individual and the conflicts they have dealt with and the adversity they have faced during their rise to success – whether it’s prejudice, poverty, disability, or health issues. The first episode will tell the story of how Ibaka overcame a tough childhood in Africa to become an NBA champion.
“I always thought my story could be an inspiration for the younger generations, and I think sharing other athletes’ stories of overcoming on this series will have a big impact,” said Ibaka, now on his thirteenth season in the NBA. “There is never a straight line to success and many of us have gone through different obstacles that required us to stay motivated and believe in ourselves. If we can inspire just one kid to not give up on their dreams, I’d consider this series a success.”
“Overcoming is an inspiration for kids all around the world to never give up on their dreams, no matter the circumstances or the odds,” said Michael Schreiber, President of Scripted Content at Studio71. “Serge Ibaka’s story is the perfect example of this, and we are really excited for people to have a better understanding of what he and other athletes have gone through to achieve their goals. Overcoming will show why athletes like Serge are heroes to people all-around the world.”
The series, developed from an Ouenzé Entertainment original concept, is written by Ed Ricourt who is currently in development on a new feature for Disney+, The Return of the Rocketeer. Ricourt also penned the Lionsgate feature Now You See Me and has written for several series including Marvel’s Jessica Jones on Netflix, Wayward Pines and Raising Dion.
Studio71’s original content team is in production on several projects including an animated series with digital star Roi Fabito called The Guava Juice Show, which is commissioned by YouTube Kids. The company is also in development with Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society on the animated comedy series Obi, which it adapted from an Instagram comic and sold to HBO Max.
Overcoming is executive produced by Adam Boorstin and Schreiber for Studio71, Ricourt, and Ibaka and Jordi Vilà Sánchez for Ouenzé Entertainment.